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Master’s in Computer Science (M.S.) Program

Elevate your career options and opportunities with a master’s degree in computer science, whether you’re pursuing further education or planning to enter the workforce as a developer or researcher.

Prepare for a Ph.D. program or boost your career by earning your master’s degree in computer science.

Looking for a distinctive education in the tech space to prepare yourself for a Ph.D. or other advanced degree? Illinois Institute of Technology’s Master’s in Computer Science program is ideal for you. We offer you options such as completing a master’s thesis, which will help prepare you for the rigors of a Ph.D. program. You can even earn your master’s in computer science without a CS undergrad degree.

If you’re looking to elevate your computer science career, advance into leadership, or change your career path, Illinois Tech’s master’s in computer science program offers you options to customize your degree program to best meet your needs and your career goals. You can tailor your computer science master’s program by choosing from a master’s thesis, a master’s project, or a coursework-only program.

You can earn your master’s degree in computer science in just two years online, through a hybrid program, or on our high-tech campus, in close proximity to Chicago’s thriving tech industry. Our affordable and innovative computer science master’s program is within your reach—and your budget.

Program Overview

By choosing Illinois Tech’s master’s degree in computer science, you’ll enjoy a number of advantages, including:

  • Gain professional expertise through Illinois Tech’s Elevate program. This one-of-a-kind program guarantees hands-on experiences—including research projects, internships, study away, competitions, short courses, and more—as well as personalized academic and career mentorship, all in pursuit of ensuring that our students graduate with career-readiness.
  • Customize your computer science master’s degree program to meet your needs. Study full-time or part-time, online, or on campus—or choose a hybrid format to complete your degree. Then choose from a thesis option, a major project, or a coursework-only option.
  • Live and learn in the heart of Chicago. Home to a growing technology industry, a thriving hacking community, and a hive of startup activity, Chicago offers you endless options for food, events, culture, and adventures. 
  • Earn a high-value, affordable master’s degree in computer science. We’re rated an educational best value by The Princeton Review, Forbes, Time, and Money magazine, and ranked third in the nation for upward mobility among highly selective private colleges by Opportunity Insights.
  • Learn from leading experts and accomplished researchers. Our faculty act as mentors and encourage students to join them in pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, big data, cloud computing, manufacturing, and more.

Career Opportunities

With your master’s degree in computer science from Illinois Tech, you can pursue additional educational opportunities or elevate your career path in the tech industry.

Many of our computer science master’s program graduates go on to pursue Ph.D. programs at leading institutions across the country, including Northwestern University, Columbia University, Boston University, and others.

Our graduates who enter the workforce immediately have accepted career opportunities at companies such as Accenture, Google, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Apple in positions such as:

  • Data systems designer
  • Program developer
  • Security systems designer
  • Master data analyst
  • Operations manager
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The information provided is sourced from a third party, Lightcast, and is provided here for informational and educational purposes only. Please be advised that the inclusion of the Lightcast resource on this website does not imply endorsement by Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech), nor is it a guarantee of the accuracy of this information. Illinois Tech makes no representation, warranty or guarantee, express or implied, that the information presented herein is reflective of the outcomes you can expect if you enroll in or graduate from an Illinois Tech program. Illinois Tech expressly disclaims any liability regarding Lightcast, or in connection with any actual or potential employment opportunity stemming from information on this site and you hereby irrevocably waive any claim(s) against the Illinois Tech for the same. Your use of this web page is an acknowledgement of your understanding and acceptance of the terms and conditions set forth herein. You are encouraged to conduct your own thorough research into job opportunities and outcomes in your field of study.

Curriculum for our master’s degree in computer science program

As a student at Illinois Tech, you’ll complete core courses that are organized into three categories of computer science: programming, systems, and theory. Through your coursework, you’ll gain knowledge and expertise in such areas as computer graphics, animation, database organization, computer and internet architecture, and other advanced computer science topics in courses, including: 

  • Topics in Computer Graphics
  • Advanced Database Organization
  • Advanced Computer Architecture
  • Theory of Computation

View Course Catalog

Admissions requirements for our master’s degree in computer science program

Admission requirements for our master’s in computer science program are the same for all program formats offered. A bachelor’s degree is required, but you can earn your master’s in computer science without a CS undergrad degree.

Admission requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s degree with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • TOEFL/PTE/IELTS scores are required from applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree at an institution in which English was not the primary instructional language
  • Applicants whose bachelor’s degree is not in computer science may have to take prerequisite undergraduate courses for credit hours that will not apply to their master’s degree

Why Choose Illinois Tech’s Master’s in Computer Science Program?

Illinois Tech’s master’s in computer science program offers you:

  • A customizable degree to fit your needs and goals
  • The opportunity to live and learn in Chicago
  • Guaranteed hands-on experiences through Elevate 
  • An affordable degree that is highly valued by employers
  • A personalized mentored education with expert faculty
  • A master’s in computer science without a CS undergrad degree

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Our Master’s Degree in Computer Science Students

We work hard to make an Illinois Tech education affordable and accessible. Learn more about graduate scholarships and financial aid, including:

  • Graduate Pathway Scholarship: All students admitted to a master’s program at Illinois Tech are automatically considered for a merit-based scholarship at the time of admission.
  • Graduate Assistantships: Assistantships are offered through academic departments and colleges with a focus on research and teaching. Graduate assistants receive partial tuition remission and a monthly stipend, along with assessment, teaching, or research experience.
  • Graduate Research Funding: Individual faculty members may have research grants that can be used to help fund student research efforts.

Compare the Master of Science and Professional Master’s in Computer Science Programs

The Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S. CS) and Professional Master of Computer Science (M.A.S. CS) degree programs are similar, but slightly different.

Admission differences

  • The admission criteria are slightly stricter for the M.S. CS program
  • Applicants not admitted to the M.S. CS program are automatically considered for admission to the M.A.S. CS program

Degree requirements

Both degree programs offer nearly all computer science courses. As shown below, the programs differ somewhat in admission policy, credit hours, and core course requirements, in addition to the availability of the master’s thesis option, professional specializations, and courses.

ProgramMaster of Science in CS (M.S. CS)Master of CS (M.A.S. CS)
Credit Hours Required32 hours30 hours*
Core Classes Required4 core classes3 core classes
SpecializationsNot availableAvailable, optional
Master's Thesis (CS 591)Available, optionalNot available
CS Classes AvailableCS 401-590, 595, 600-799, 
CS 591, 597
CS 401-590, 595, 600-799, 
CS 597, CSP 5xx

*33 hours for the Business and Finance specializations.

Which program is right for me?

Both programs prepare you for a career as a working professional in computer science. The M.S. CS program is slightly more theoretically oriented, as it requires one more core theory course than the M.A.S. CS program. Specializations and computer science professional courses are available only through the M.A.S. CS program. If you plan to continue studying for a Ph.D., you should consider writing a master’s thesis, which is offered only as part of the M.S. CS program.

If you’re still not sure which program is right for you, we suggest applying to the M.S. CS program. If you’re accepted, it’s easy to change to the M.A.S. CS program later. If you’re not accepted to the M.S. CS program, you’ll automatically be considered for the M.A.S. CS program.